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May 2010

Inside this issue: • Fifteen in 5 – The Community Planning Initiative Reaches 5 Year Mark

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Table of Contents Article


Member of the Month – Septagon Construction..................4 ImpactCR..............................................................................5 Business Long Term Recovery.............................................6 Annual Golf Outing..............................................................7 Calendar of Events................................................................8 Board and Leadership for Five Seasons Nominations.........9 Fifteen in 5 Update............................................................10 Legislative Wrap Up...........................................................11 Breakfast of Champions.....................................................12 Flood Mitigation Brown Bag Luncheon.............................12 New Members.....................................................................13 EDC.....................................................................................14 Alliant Article.....................................................................15 Ambassador Extra Effort Award Winners..........................16 Corridor PM Exchange.......................................................17 April PM Exchange Recap.................................................18 PM Exchange......................................................................18 CEO Roundtable.................................................................19

May 2010 Volume 79 No 9 (USPS558-200) Chamber Report (ISSN 108-50775) is published monthly by the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, 424 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Subscription price of $35 per year is included in an annual chamber membership. Periodicals postage paid at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Postmaster: Send changes to: Chamber Report Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 424 First Ave. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196 Chair: Brad Hart President & CEO: Shannon Meyer Editor: Kari Stillman Contact the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at 319-398-5317 for reprint permission. ©2010 Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

2010 Board of Directors Officers

Brad Hart, Bradley & Riley PC, Chair Chuck Peters, Gazette Communication, Chair Elect Allen Witt, Hall & Hall Engineers Inc., Immediate Past Chair Nancy Kasparek, U.S. Bank NA, Secretary William Vincent, Clifton Gunderson LLP, Treasurer Shannon Meyer, Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, President

Board of Directors

Jill Ackerman, Marion Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Director Dawn Ainger, Genova Technologies, Director Thomas Anderson, Merrill Lynch, Director Todd Barker, Todd Barker, NAI Iowa Realty Commercial, Director Christopher Blake, Mount Mercy College, Director Barry Boyer, Van Meter Industrial, Inc., Chair Elect Priority One Ray Brown, The ESCO Group, Chair Marion Chamber of Commerce Scott Byers, NAI Iowa Realty Commercial, Director Lijun Chadima, Thorland Company, Director Ron Corbett, Mayor, City of Cedar Rapids, Honorary Director Chris DeWolf, Lil’ Drug Store Products, Inc., Director Jeff Elgin, J & T Elgin, LLC, Director James Ernst, Four Oaks Inc. of Iowa, Director Gary Ficken, Bimm Ridder Sportswear, Director Ronald Fielder, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, Director Kristie Fisher, Kirkwood Community College, Director Rob Frederick, AEGON Insurance Group, Director Marc Gullickson, Ryan Companies, US, Inc., Director Eric Hanson, ImpactCR, Honorary Director Tom Hobson, Rockwell Collins, Inc., At Large Director Beth Houlahan, Mercy Medical Center, Director Tim Kiesey, Leadership for Five Seasons, Honorary Director Tim Kintner, Bankers Trust Company, Director Christine Landa, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, Inc., Director Robb Loftsgard, Wells Fargo Bank, Director Katie Mulholland, Linn-Mar Community School District, Director Curt Nelson, Entrepreneurial Development Center Inc. Honorary Director Doug Neumann, Cedar Rapids Downtown District, Honorary Director Ron Olson, Paulson Electric Company, Director Hazel Pegues, Diversity Focus, Honorary Director Mark Seckman, Priority One, President Priority One John Sheehan, St. Luke’s Hospital, Director Kyle Skogman, Skogman Realty, Chair Priority One Tim Spain, United Fire Group, Director Paul Treangen, Alliant Energy – Interstate Power & Light Co., Director Monica Vernon, Vernon Research Group, Honorary Director William Vernon, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, Director Brandt Worley, Worley Warehousing, Inc, Director

May 2010__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3

From the Chairman’s Desk:

CHANGE – IT IS A COMIN’ Change is inevitable and should be welcomed. Many key leadership positions in Cedar Rapids have changed recently and more changes are in the works. The list of leadership changes is long: Ron Corbett is our new Mayor; Don Karr and Chuck Swore have joined the City Council; Marilee Fowler is the new President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau; Les Garner will be taking over the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation; and Ben Rogers and Brent Oleson have joined the Linn County Board of Supervisors. Soon we’ll have a new City Manager and a new Director for our airport. And, of course, Shannon Meyer now leads The Chamber. It is amazing that Shannon, now in her 16th month on the job, is the “dean” of this fairly long list of community leaders. The change we are experiencing isn’t unusual, especially after facing the enormous recovery challenge after the flood of 2008. Our prior leaders all worked hard to move our community forward, with many playing important roles. I firmly believe we are on the very cusp of some significant projects and developments that will change this community for the better. The future is very bright, and we owe much to those prior leaders. However, each new leader brings, or will bring, a new set of ideas and a new dose of energy to his or her position. That is exciting. Shannon is a great example of a new leader who brought with her a wealth of chamber ideas and experience, and a real passion for chamber work. Shannon quickly energized her staff and volunteers, developed additional programs and benefits for Chamber members and fully engaged herself in many flood recovery initiatives. Our new leaders are already doing the same or will be very soon. The Chamber looks forward to working with each of these new leaders and all our existing community partners as we look at new ideas, work with renewed energy and build on a stronger sense of collaboration. Yes, change-it is a comin’. Aren’t we lucky!


Brad Hart chairman, board of directors

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At Work Events Septagon Construction Reflects on 10 Years of Service in Cedar Rapids Septagon Construction, a design-build general contracting and construction management company located throughout Iowa and Missouri, has served 10 years in the Cedar Rapids area. Their services include the construction of pre-engineered steel buildings using their own field forces for the steel, concrete and carpentry work. Septagon also specializes in remodels, additions and re-roof services. “The success of the Cedar Rapids office is directly due to the commitment that our employees have to obtain and maintain our customers’ expectations and needs,” said Michael Russell, president of Septagon Construction– Cedar Rapids. During the past 10 years, Septagon has been actively involved in the construction of facilities throughout Cedar Rapids. Septagon recently completed a new educational facility for ITT Technical Institute located at 3735 Queen Court SW. This facility is a total of 19,000 square feet. Septagon is currently building a new Casey’s General Store at Ely Road & C Street. Septagon previously remodeled the Casey’s General Store located at 201 8th Avenue SE, and built an addition on to the convenience store at 888 Vernon Drive SE. These are three of the 21 projects Septagon Construction has completed for Casey’s General Store in a three-state area. The projects include a mix of new construction, remodels and acquisitions. Septagon recently completed a 2,100 sq. ft. building for Pinnacle Engineering, an 11,790 sq. ft. building for Acro Manufacturing, a 410,000 sq. ft. General Mills warehouse for Worley Development, and a 61,700 sq. ft. Fed-Ex Ground facility for Jones Development. “The core strengths of Septagon are represented by the quality people that make up the company and their desire to produce satisfied customers,” said Russell. Russell believes the past 10 years are just the beginning for Septagon Construction, as he looks forward to continued growth in the company for many years to come. For more information on the services offered by Septagon Construction, please call 319-365-6948 or visit our Web site at


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ImpactCR Receives Presentation of Support During the Siren Wednesday event held on April 7th at Daniel Arthur’s “Six Feet Under Lounge”, ImpactCR received a $795 donation from Farmers State Bank. A collaboration between ImpactCR and Farmers State Bank began in mid January when a project survey was distributed to friends and members of ImpactCR to gauge banking preferences for convenience, communication and special amenities. Farmers State Bank made a donation to ImpactCR for every completed survey. While the survey will act as valuable data in FSB’s research, the bigger gift is the ability to contribute directly to ImpactCR, an organization they feel addresses a universal need within our community. “ImpactCR represents the very best of the young talent in our corridor”, states Bri Axdahl with Farmers State Bank. “The insights they shared in this research project will help FSB enhance both our financial solutions and the delivery channels we utilize.” Now reaching its one year anniversary, the community action group within the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, looks to further collaborate with area businesses to increase awareness of the group and grow membership. “As with many of The Chamber programs, ImpactCR provides a unique resource for the business community,” said Eric Hanson, Co-Chair of ImpactCR. “We are constantly exploring partnership opportunities that will assist businesses with employee retention, engagement and leadership. Relationships built from the business sector are key in the development of our strong and relevant programming.”

Austin Coon and Brandon Athy from Farmers State Bank present a check to ImpactCR Board Members.

Upcoming Event: Cinco de Mayo “Impact Style” May 5, 2010, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM Bushwood Sports Bar & Grill ImpactCR Board of Advisors invites members and friends to attend Cinco de Mayo Impact Style! All encouraged to attend the event and learn more about ImpactCR.

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Seeking Business Mentors for Business Recovery

Consider playing a key role in helping our flood-affected businesses by becoming a Business Mentor. The Business Long Term Recovery Team is seeking individuals interested in becoming a Business Mentor to flood recovery businesses. This initiative provides further outreach to the many businesses in need of assistance. “The initial field assessment with more than 400 businesses clearly validates the need for many businesses to have someone work with them directly. We call that role a ‘Business Mentor’. Our case management team is serving that role, but we need more help, in fact, we could use at least 100 business members to assist.”, says Shannon Meyer, President & CEO of The Chamber. To help coordinate the Business Mentors, SCORE will be collaborating in this Chamber initiative. “The Cedar Rapids chapter provided invaluable guidance in processing hundreds of applications for the Chamber’s Job & Small Business Recovery Fund,” says Bob Harschnek, Case Management Team Leader. The Chamber’s Case Management Team and SCORE Business Mentors will work closely together. “It is a unique opportunity for business leaders to be a key part of building a national model that can be used throughout the US for future disaster recovery”, says Harschnek. Please Bob09:CHAMBER Harschnek at 319-730-1414 or 11:02 AM Page 9 CHAMBER 4Ccontact AD MASTER HALF PAGE 10/1/09 to learn more.

The Business Long Term Recovery team is seeking up to 100 proven business leaders committed to this cause and willing to contribute a minimum of two hours per week over the next 12 months. Individuals with experience in sales/marketing, business “turnaround” and operations are the most critical skills as well as current/previous P&L experience as a business owner/manager. Other critical skills needed include; cash flow management, business plan development, technology. Business Mentors will be matched with one or more businesses given their background. The goal is to help those businesses with their immediate operational needs to stabilize their business and then position them for growth. In partnership with:

“They’re so genuine.” Nancy Welsh Rockwell Collins

David Welsh

BANKERS TRUST private banker: Mike Tiernan

“They’re good guys. We just say ‘Hey, we need help’ and boom, it’s fixed,” says David. Nancy adds, “It’s as simple as making a call to explain what we want to do. Then they give us feedback on what the realm of the possible is.”

221 Third Avenue SE 319-896-7777 400 Blairs Ferry Road NE 319-221-1230 Member FDIC

May 2010__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7

Mark Your Calendars Now for the 2010 Chamber Golf Outing Monday, August 2nd Elmcrest Country Club 4-person best shot Shotgun start at Noon Return of the “Chopper Dropper” More information and invitation coming soon

Chamber Membership provides Plenty of Benefits – Improving your golf game is just a nice bonus.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Sponsorship opportunities available for the International Business Symposium, 2010 Golf Outing and Expo. For more information contact Candy Nanke, Director Member Relations at 319-730-1417 or

House Hunt.

Your home search begins at We are here to serve you.

Downtown • (319) 365-0581 Marion • (319) 377-9874 Collins Rd • (319) 393-4900 Iowa City • (319) 354-0581 Corridor Office • (319) 887-6400

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Events Calendar May ❖❖Thursday, May 6 Breakfast of Champions


❖❖ Friday, May 14

❖❖ Thursday, June 3

Flood Mitigation Brown Bag Lunch

Breakfast of Champions

7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Join us for breakfast and expand your professional network at our latest program, Breakfast of Champions.

Greg Eylerly and Dave Elgin with the City of Cedar Rapids will be discussing flood mitigation plans.

Join us for breakfast and expand your professional network at our new program, Breakfast of Champions.

$20 members/ $30 future members


$20 members/ $30 future members

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Clarion Hotel & Convention Center

❖❖ Thursday, May 6 CEO Roundtable Kick-Off Luncheon Chamber Board Room Noon – 1:30 p.m. CEO Roundtable begins with a great start as Pat Baird shares how he is measuring his accomplishments as he steps away from the President and CEO position at AEGON. Contact Julie Stow for more information

❖❖ Friday, May 7 Leadership for Five Seasons Spring Celebration Theatre Cedar Rapids 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 2010 Community Trustee Award recipient announced as well as the opportunity to celebrate the graduation of the 2010 adult and executive classes. Payment accepted at the door but please RSVP to $25 Leadership Alumni Special Event

❖❖ Tuesday, May 11 Chamber Academy: Business Series Chamber Board Room

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Presented by Monica Vernon, Vernon Research Group $35 members/$50 future members Sponsored by

Chamber Board Room

❖❖ May 16 - 19 America’s Small Business Summit A Chamber consortium is attending America’s Small Business Summit in Washington D.C. to speak out on behalf of America’s small business.

❖❖ Thursday, May 20 PM Exchange Hills Bank

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Member Networking Event Complimentary

❖❖ Tuesday, May 25 International Business Symposium – Fostering Global Success Kirkwood Center for Continuing Education 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Informative event for businesses actively engaged in international business as well as those just beginning to explore the opportunity. REGISTRATION INFORMATION on page 19 $85 Chamber and EDC members $145 future members

❖❖ Thursday, May 27 Corridor PM Exchange Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Member Networking Event Complimentary

Cedar Rapids Marriott

❖❖ Thursday, June 3 Unlocking Your Chamber Membership Chamber Board Room

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Designed to give you the keys to getting started, this is our orientation to all of our events, programs and initiatives. Lunch provided. Complimentary Sponsored by Connecting People with Technology

❖❖ Tuesday, June 8 Chamber Academy – Legal Series ‘Estate Tax’ – Paul Morf, Simmons Perrine Chamber Board Room 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $35 members/ $45 future members Sponsored by

❖❖ Thursday, June 17 PM Exchange Securian Advisors MidAmerica 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Member Networking Event Complimentary

For updated information or to register for events please visit {00150245.DOC}

SAVE THE DATE ❖❖ Monday, August 2

❖❖ Tuesday, September 14

2010 Golf Outing

Chamber Annual Meeting

Noon Shotgun Start

Special Event

Elmcrest Country Club Member Networking Event

Crowne Plaza Five Seasons Hotel

❖❖ Thursday, September 23 Business Expo – Hitting Business Out of the Park Cedar Rapids Kernels Stadium Special Event

May 2010__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 9


Leadership for Five Seasons Seeking Nominations & Applications for 2011 Class


Chamber Accepting Board of Director Nominations The Chamber is accepting nominations for individuals to serve on its Board of Directors. Any member or representative of a member of The Chamber in good standing is eligible to serve as a regular director. Regular directors serve a term of three years and can be re-elected once. Elections will be held in August. Please send names to Chamber President Shannon Meyer or Chamber Board Chair Brad Hart Nominations may also be mailed to 424 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196. The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 25.

Where do

Leadership for Five Seasons is seeking nominations of individuals who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership, who have exhibited interest and commitment to the welfare of the Cedar Rapids community and have potential for exercising substantial leadership in the future. Selection to Leadership for Five Seasons is limited to 35 participants. Forms and information can be found at Deadline for nomination: May 14, 2010 Deadline for application: May 31, 2010 Sponsored by:

you want to go?

Abe Tubbs Chief Executive Officer Cascade & Monticello

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Fifteen in 5 – A community planning process embraced In May 2005, The Chamber, The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the people of Linn County gathered together to unveil 15 ideas this community wanted to see accomplished in Linn County within five years. The announcement marked the culmination of more than eight months of work by hundreds of local citizens submitting more than 3,000 ideas. This was an opportunity for citizens to share earnest and thoughtful ideas of what matters most to them in this community. Five years later, the Cedar Rapids area has a community actively engaged in shaping the future of our community. Fifteen in 5 initiated community engagement and created grassroots efforts empowering volunteers to partner with business and government to lead and carry out these visions and ideas. The ideas established in 2005 were not small undertakings and as you revisit the list below you will quickly realize that many of these ideas are taking shape as we rebuild and recover from the flood. This is not a coincidence. The 15 ideas established by the community and supported within the JLG - Vision Cedar Rapids study have allowed Cedar Rapids to quickly determine priority projects. The Chamber continues to work in close collaboration with The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and dedicated community volunteer groups as we look forward to providing a full report that will be shared and celebrated later this year with the entire community.

The Fifteen Ideas 1) Designate an arts & entertainment district along 3rd Street SE. 2) Make health care accessible to the underserved. 3) Grow and sustain locally-owned businesses. 4) Make parks more attractive to youth and families. 5) Develop the riverfront. 6) Expand downtown housing. 7) Create a year-round district along Rockford Road SW. 8) Rejuvenate abandoned and deteriorating commercial property.

9) 10) 11) 12)

Build a state-of-the-art activity center. Empower neighborhoods. Upgrade and expand the U.S. Cellular Center. Develop and implement a comprehensive solid waste management plan. 13) Connect and expand Linn County trails. 14) Launch a best-in-the-nation early childhood education program. 15) Develop light rail service.

May 2010________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 11

2010 Legislative Wrap-Up

We thank all those who attended our Corridor Legislative Wrap-Up held April 14th and special thanks to our sponsor Paulson Electric Company.

The 2010 Legislative Session concluded March 31 as leadership predicted and scheduled at the beginning of the year. This accelerated session led to many challenges for constituents, staff and elected officials but as intended saved money and kept the legislature on task with little downtime to strategize on other developing issues which can be typical during downtime. The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber agenda for 2010 focused on economic development, jobs and flood recovery. We thank the legislators who fought hard to secure $20 million in flood recovery funding for targeted projects in this area. We will work as a community to secure as much of the additional $30 million created in a competitive pool for the Linn County area. With the budget situation this was not an easy lift but it was the only way to see funding in just the second session since our record flooding in 2008. The Chamber will be back in 2011 to continue our rebuilding efforts. Job creation and economic development will always dominate the agenda of our Chamber and many across the state. We must work to make Iowa a place where people want to do business and has the regulatory environment to do business. In this global economy, employers have the opportunity to locate anywhere and our focus is to position Iowa in a favorable light to industry in order to attract jobs here. The State of Iowa engaged in an in-depth study of tax credits this past year. Iowa does need to understand the tools used for economic development and the return on these, but unfortunately a cut was made to the Research Activities Tax Credit for large companies. Many of these companies have locations throughout the country and we risk losing additional growth opportunities from our large businesses. However, it was refreshing to see the credit amount for small companies increased, hopefully benefitting our entrepreneurs and small growing Iowa companies. Transportation funding saw little discussion except for passenger rail. This was needed to match federal programs. With the challenges Iowa faces in road maintenance and construction we anticipate this to be a discussion through the November 2010 elections. The Community Attractions and Tourism (CAT) fund saw an allocation of $12 million for that competitive pool. River enhancement (RECAT) was allocated $4 million and Main Street Iowa $8,450,000. With tight budgets, the continuation of community programs that grow tourism and community quality of life are important. We look forward to working with our membership and legislators over the summer as we begin to outline priorities for the 2011 Legislative session. If you have comments or suggestions please contact Sara Mentzer, VP of Public Affairs at or 319-730-1404.

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Special Brown Bag Luncheon Scheduled

A great way to start your day… join us for breakfast and expand your professional network at our new program, Breakfast of Champions.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 Cedar Rapids Marriott 1200 Collins Rd NE, Cedar Rapids $20 Members, $30 Future Members 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. 7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m. 8:05 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Breakfast Buffet and Networking Guest Speaker Chamber Update

Registration is required; please visit our website at to register for this event. For additional details, please contact Jeff Schamberger at 319-730-1402 or

On Friday , May 14 The Cham host Greg ber will Eyerly, Flo od Recove Director a ry nd Dave E lgin, City from the C E ngineer ity of Ced ar Rapids Brown Ba f o r g Lunch u pdate on th a Mitigation e Flood strategy fo r Cedar R The event apids. will be he ld in the C Board Ro h amber’s om from N oon-1:00 No cost to p .m .  attend, ple ase contac Sara Men t tzer, VP P ublic Affa register sm irs to entzer@ce darrapids.o or 319-73 rg 0-1404. Sponsore

d by:

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May 2010________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 13


Collective Data

Quality Care, the Nature Care Company

308 3rd Street SE, Suite 200 Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 Jason Wonase, President Phone: 319-362-1993 Web:

306 Second Street Coralville, IA 52241 Geoff Wilming, Vice President Phone: 319-366-7822 Fax: 319-358-5845 Web: Email:

Collective Data is known among the fleet operations management software industry for their highly-customizable system. With a unique core design, Collective Data is able to mold their software to fit the business structure and needs of any type of fleet. Companies can rest assured that as new requirements and needs arise, their software will be able to help them meet those needs.

Dynamite Satellite 124 Collins Road NE, Suite D Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 Kevin Garretson, Owner Phone: 319-366-1865 Web: Email:

The area’s only locally owned DISH Network and DIRECTV satellite TV dealer. We also offer high speed internet and home phone service through Qwest. Get DISH Network, DIRECTV and Qwest for your home or business for Linn County and surrounding areas.

Quality Care is a lawn and landscape management firm founded in 1980. Our team includes dedicated professionals who treat all properties as though they are our own, with seasonal color installations, tidy landscape beds, beautiful lawns, and snow management services.

Ross Refrigeration 1215 4th Ave SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 Jerry Novak, Owner Phone: 319-363-3541 Fax: 319-363-2312 Web: Email:

Ross Refrigeration has been installing and servicing commercial and industrial refrigeration in Cedar Rapids since 1948.

Street Level Media LLC PolySource LLC Grant John, Sales Phone: 816-305-2625 Fax: 816-540-4127 Web: Email:

PolySource is a service-focused engineered plastic resin distribution and engineering company. Our mission is to provide technically superior solutions, through a knowledgeable sales force, supported by impeccable customer service, while delivering a quality product designed for customer specific needs.

Dustin Bena, President Phone: 319-213-2262 Web: Email:

Street Level Media is a new, innovative, beyond-traditional and experiential advertising company that is redefining how people look at advertising. We make sure that we are working as hard as possible to give our clients a flawless campaign. Consumers don’t stand still, why should your advertising?

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Curt Nelson, CEO, Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) In Lou Gerstner’s book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance, Mr. Gerstner is quoted as saying, “I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” Businesses with great internal culture project the same outward. They are more productive as a business because their people are more productive individually and as a team. Leadership understands that happy and engaged people are more productive. Most everyone has worked in a business where the culture was bad. Where mistakes were punished, poor company performance is blamed on staff, and where dictatorship was confused with leadership. In these organizations, the average employee provides less than eight hours of productivity; taking advantage of every break, commiserating with other employees over e-mail or water-cooler encounters, arriving and leaving at precise times; putting in time for money. In businesses with a great culture, where everyone’s ideas are respected, work enjoyment and creativity are fostered, mistakes are valued as learning experiences, and successes and failures are owned as a team, employees regularly provide more than eight hours of productivity. They work through breaks, come in early, stay late, eat lunch at their desk, all because they want to. All because they enjoy what they do and are thrilled to be a part of a winning team. If your culture is great, results will be great. If your culture is poor or worse, your results are likely to follow. Culture and the resulting morale mean everything to your business. If you adopt the “beatings will continue until morale improves” style of management, you have missed the point. Note: The EDC enables economic growth in the CR/IC Corridor and throughout the State of Iowa through the creation of businesses, but also via the expansion of existing Iowa-founded enterprises. For more information, contact the Entrepreneurial Development Center at 319-369-4955 or visit us at

Discover a New Way.

Employee Benefits

Risk Management

Financial Strategies

Individual Solutions

May 2010________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 15

Alliant Energy Invests in Cedar Rapids’ Energy Future What is the commitment Alliant Energy has made to Cedar Rapids? Investments of $225 million in Cedar Rapids since 2006, including flood repairs and plans to invest another $56 million over the next five years. This commitment includes a comprehensive plan to restore the electrical system after the flood, reduce risks of future flooding and install an electrical system that will serve the central business district and our neighborhoods for decades to come. In the electric rate case before the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), 50 percent of our request will cover infrastructure and reliability investments made in 2009. That’s $15.6 million in Cedar Rapids alone. This includes the opening of a new substation in northeast Cedar Rapids and reliability and safety investments in transformers, poles and miles of new power lines across the entire metro area. The rate case also includes efforts to meet environmental regulations and increase our use of renewable energy. The Whispering Willow Wind project in Franklin County can produce enough energy to power approximately 50,000 Iowa homes. Environmental upgrades at our Lansing Power Plant will reduce our customer’s impact on the environment and make the air cleaner. We recognize that raising rates in the current economic conditions is difficult. In response, we have proposed a cost management plan that lessens the impact of our final rate request over a three year period if approved by the IUB. The outcome of this case is critical to our ability to meet our future electric commitments to Cedar Rapids. Just as if a borrower failed to repay a debt to their lender, our inability to provide an adequate return to our shareowners could make it difficult to get the funding to upgrade our system in the future. On behalf of the nearly 1000 employees of Alliant Energy who live, work and invest their paychecks in our community, it is our privilege to serve you and support our hometown. Tom Aller President, Alliant Energy‘s Interstate Power and Light Co. The provided article is intended for informational purposes and does not imply endorsement or recommendation by The Chamber.

St. Luke's Work Well Solutions What is the most challenging workplace issue?

Charles Cizio Occupational Therapist St. Luke’s Therapy Plus


Awkward posture wins hands down. It places excessive stress on the body and over time, leads to inflammation and microscopic tearing of soft tissue. These are the precursors of workplace injuries such as tendonitis and nerve damage. Injuries associated with awkward posture are magnified when coupled with either high force exertion or repetition. Workplace evaluations – for a new employee or at the first signs of trouble – can prevent and limit workplace injury. To learn more about workplace evaluations available through St. Luke’s Therapy Plus, contact us at 319/369-8107.

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At Work Extra Effort Award Winners


The Chamber would like to give special recognition to the following members. St. Luke’s named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals

St. Luke’s Hospitals is one of only two hospitals in the state named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a source of health-care information. The award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in quality of care, operational efficiency, financial performance and growth. This is the third time St. Luke’s has received this distinction.  

Horizons Family wins Integrity Award


The Ambassadors in the picture all put in the “Extra Effort” as volunteers for 2009 and were recently recognized at the last Ambassador Board Meeting for their commitment to The Chamber and the Ambassador program.

Horizons Family won the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award this year. With only four winners statewide, this is an extremely respectable honor. Horizons, managed to serve Meals-on Wheels without missing a meal during the flood. The Integrity Awards were established to recognize companies and organizations whose business practices and related activities exemplify the BBB’s mission and principles.

don’t expect your bankers to personally deliver payroll checks during “You a snow storm. But ours did.When our company had trouble transmitting a payroll file, Pauline Herb and

and Janice Johnson from Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust saved the day recreated our entire payroll. They produced payroll cashier checks and

personally drove them to each of our employees’ banks to ensure that everyone was paid on time. Now that’s customer worth

checking out!”

Is your bank this good - Rick Sayre, McGrath Automotive Group




May 2010________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 17

Don’t be a Nut!

Come Celebrate with us and see the Corridor’s newest attraction! Corridor PM Exchange at Cedar Ridge Vineyards on Thursday, May 27th Tucked in among the fields of the heartland and nestled among 5,000 grapevines in the heart of the Corridor, Cedar Ridge Vineyards is now open to the public. Enjoy the view from the top of the hill in our new 7000 square foot facility, take a tour of the winery and distillery and enjoy our products from the veranda.

Register now for The Chamber Expo

Enjoy Cedar Ridge products, right where they’re grown! While at the PM event, enjoy complimentary: - Live music - Appetizers from our kitchen - Wine sampling from our award-winning vineyards - Distilled spirits sampling from Iowa’s first distillery and the family of Cedar Ridge brands - Walking tours of the vineyards and Iowa’s first legal distillery Directions to Cedar Ridge Vineyards: From I-380, take Exit 10 (Swisher/Shueyville) West ¼ mile to Hwy 965. Proceed South on Hwy 965 one mile and you will see the vineyards on the right. 1441 Marak Rd, Swisher, IA 52338

Noon - 7:00 PM Thursday, September 23 VEterans Memorial Stadium One Location. Countless Leads. A Home Run Event. Sponsorship Opportunities available Contact Julie Stow for more information or 319-730-1409

Join us for this Corridor PM Exchange at Cedar Ridge on Thursday, May 27, from 4:30 – 6:30pm.

18 �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� May 2010

April PM Exchange Recap More than 300 people attended the fiesta-themed PM Exchange in April. The event was hosted by Reconstruction 380/ ServiceMaster 380.

Chamber PM Exchange hosted by

Hills Bank

and Trust Company

3905 Blairs Ferry Rd NE 319-294-2444

Thursday, May 20th 5:00 - 7:00 pm Overflow parking next door at River of Life Ministries.

Join us for a Spring BBQ complete with hamburgers, brats and plenty of cold beverages. Member FDIC

May 2010________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 19 Developed for businesses actively engaged in international business as well as those beginning to explore the opportunity!

Tuesday, May 25, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Kirkwood Center for Continuing Education


A collaborative event hosted by the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Area Chambers of Commerce and the Iowa City Area Development Group

Sponsored by ESP International 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. 8:40 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. – Noon Noon – 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration, Continental Breakfast, Networking – Sponsored by Bankers Trust Opening Remarks: Shannon Meyer and Nancy Quellhorst; Opening Keynote: Liz Reilly, Director, Trade Roots, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Faces of Trade recognition Breakout Sessions (5 sessions available) Morning Break Breakout Sessions (4 sessions available) Lunch and International Missions Presentation: Shannon Meyer & Nancy Quellhorst Local and Regional Awards Keynote: Damon Terrill, Sr VP and General Counsel for International Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc ‘From Selling Abroad to Going Global – Lessons Learned by an Iowa Company that Became Multinational’ Breakout Sessions (5 sessions available) Afternoon Break – Sponsored by Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Closing Keynote: Strategies for International Businesses, CEO Panel, Moderated by Liz Reilly Networking/Cocktail Hour International Business Symposium EXPO – Sponsored by Canada Full agenda available at

Special thanks to our sponsors: Registration: $85.00 Chamber & Economic Development organization members (including other communities). $145.00 Future Members. $45.00 for awards luncheon only. Contact Julie Stow at or 319-730-1409 for more information.

International Business Symposium Registration Name(s):_________________________________________

Credit Card:


Expiration: ______ V-Code: _______

Email: __________________________________________ Company Name: _ ________________________________ Company Address:________________________________



AmEx (circle one)

Card #__________________________________________ Card Holder Name: ______________________________


Card Address: _ _________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________

City: ___________________________________________

Amount Enclosed: $_____________ $85.00 Chamber & Economic Development member, $145.00 Future Members. $45.00 for awards luncheon only.

State:__________________ Zip:_ ____________________ Signature:_______________________________________

Please mail this form with a check or credit card information to: Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, 424 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


424 First Avenue NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196

Printed on recycled paper by

Cornerstone Press

At Corridor CoWorks, we are proud that our partnership with the Chamber enhances the growth of small businesses and

Be Professional. Be Productive. Be Social.

the progress of Cedar Rapids.

May Chamber Report  

The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to publish the monthly Chamber Report. This 20-page publication contains up-to-date info...